We had a good run of travel throughout 2018, both in the UK and further afield. I have big plans for 2019, but I’m not going to get into that yet. My travel ideas change every time I read another travel blog or browse Instagram, there’s so many different places that I want to visit with my family. But first, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at some of our travel highlights from this year.
In April we spent an unseasonably warm weekend in Paris. The main reason? For the boys to see the Eiffel Tower in real life! I knew that my eldest had wanted to see it for many months, but the look of excitement on his face as he caught a glimpse of it between buildings on our first day in the city was so special!
I think seeing Paris’ main landmark in real life has ignited a desire for both our children to see other parts of the world that they have only seen on paper. We were also insanely lucky with the weather, it was so warm and sunny in April!
The children have already been asking when we are going back to Paris!
A lodge in the woods at Darwin Forest was made perfect by the hot tub on the decking. We were in the swimming pool every day, but the highlight for us all was sitting in the bubbling hot tub giggling and splashing!
The woodland setting was just right for our family too, easy cycles into the woods and building dens beside the lodge. Of course there were plenty of sights to see all around the area too, but we just loved having such a beautiful place to relax in as well.
Brijuni Islands, Croatia
Our new country of the year was Croatia, but the highlight of this trip was definitely visiting the Brijuni Islands. Travelling around the islands on a little golf buggy with a top speed of 25mph was amusing for all of us!
Even better than driving around the little golf buggy, which was stupidly fun, was exploring the shores of the island looking for dinosaur footprints. One rocky shore is covered in ancient footprints from a dinosaur that once walked our earth, amazing to think they once stood on that very spot!!
Isles Of Lunga And Staffa
We took a week long trip across to Mull in July and were granted with a beautifully sunny summer holiday. Not always the case in Scotland, but we were really lucky!
The best part of this trip was the trip to the small isles of Lunga and Staffa. On Lunga we explored the island, watching puffins and other seabirds at their nest sites and admiring the amazing view!
Staffa is famous for it’s rock formations similar to those at the Giant’s Causeway. The hexagonal rocks make for great stepping stones to jump along to Fingal’s cave.
Isle Of Eigg
In August we took a final camping trip of the year to Arisaig, on the West coast of Scotland. The main reason for camping there, aside enjoying the beautiful beach each day, was to trip across to Mull in July
Eigg itself is a lovely island and perfectly doable for a day trip. But the highlight for me was the boat trip across to the island. We saw several Minke whales, plenty of dolphins and the usual seals. I had a fantastic time scouring the water and pointing out the different whales and dolphins to the kids. Well to our eldest anyway, the little one fell asleep on the journey there! We saw more whales on this trip than we did on any whale watching trip we’ve ever taken!
Paddleboarding At Centerparcs
Our first time at Centerparcs in September was amazing for the whole family, swimming every day, cycling around the park and lots of fantastic activities on offer for the kids.
But it’s not all about the kids is it? I rarely do any activities for myself anymore, it’s always about the kids. So I loved the chance to learn paddleboarding whilst the kids and my husband watched on.
Admittedly they did find it a hilarious spectator sport as we all fell in time after time doing ridiculous stunts!! But I really enjoyed it and will definitely attempt it again another time.
Eastside Cottage, Pentland Hills
A beautiful cottage in the Pentland Hills was a great escape for October. On our first night at Eastside Cottages we reached the top of the nearby hills, which did involve a little moaning from tired children on the way up, but they were enamoured by the views from the summit!
We could see out to the Firth of Forth, watch airplanes land at Edinburgh airport and enjoy the setting sun casting an orange glow across the hillside. It’s not the largest hill, but it was certainly worth it to get the children to understand that a hard slog can be worth it when you get to the top!
Broomstick Flying at Alnwick Castle
If you have Harry Potter loving children then they will probably want to visit Alnwick Castle. It’s the location for many of the shots from the first Harry Potter film and you can even try out broomstick training for free. Look how well my eldest is flying on our trip down to Newcastle in autumn!
What were your travel highlights of the year?